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I’ve learned that asking good questions is a skill.
We ask questions when we interview potential hires, when we have guests on our upcoming podcast, and when we’re in team meetings.
I’ve noticed that good questions allow us to help each other and bring out the best in each other. They provide clarity rather than confusion. They unlock learning and allow us to delve deeper.
Good questions inspire great conversation.
So, how can we ask better questions?
Do your research
Tim Ferris spends 2-4 hours researching guests for his podcast. Although this might sound over the top, it allows him to delve deeper in interviews because he already has a good overview of the person. Being well prepared also allows you to be more intentional about what you want from the conversation.
Sometimes people avoid asking questions because they’re afraid of what others may think, but no question is a stupid question. In fact, people often appreciate questions which show that the other person is trying to understand them.
Ask short, open-ended questions
Open-ended questions allow for people to think about their answers. They provide more information than close-ended questions, where the answer is a simple yes or no. I’ve also learned that questions should be simple. When you combine too many questions into one, the other person can easily get confused.
Silence is powerful. It allows time for the other person to form their thoughts. It demonstrates patience and creates a more comfortable environment because it shows you’re not trying to rush the conversation.
Asking good questions is the cornerstone of open communication for creative collaborations and business. If you want good answers, get in the practice of asking better questions.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” - Voltaire
Everyone has a story. We share it as guests on podcasts or speaking events, through our content and even with our social media bios. So how can we craft a story that not only provides information about us, but allows for a greater connection with others? This article on building a better founder story will help you to create an authentic backstory that will resonate with your audience.
Online courses are a great way for creators to scale their business. In this podcast episode Ali Abdaal (Part Time YouTuber Academy), Marie Poulin (Notion Mastery) and Andrew Barry (On Deck Course Creators Fellowship) share their experiences of creating online courses, including how they chose to price them.
Creators product content in the hopes of creating trust with their audience, but is content alone enough? Amanda shares how to make content more credible by sharing your methodology, getting extra insights, running your own tests, niching down and using your community.
This browser extension has been an absolute game-changer for me when using Twitter! It allows you to see a user's most popular tweets and makes searching for tweets a lot easier. I’ve found it incredibly helpful for curating content (such as for this newsletter), for doing research (for podcast calls) and for finding inspiration for my own content.